The new campus Recreation Center, set to open in the fall, will not only create a place for students to work out and spend their time, but also a place for student employment, said Susan DiMonda, associate dean and director of student life.
The $37.5 million project, which DiMonda and her team began working on in 1999, will be fully air-conditioned and heated, and create a new place for students to gather, as well as create new job opportunities for students, DiMonda said.
The facility will feature a full floor of cardio equipment, a tenth of a mile-long track, and an interactive spinning studio with 30 participant bikes, one instructor bike and a screen that will virtually transport students to different locations while they ride.
DiMonda hopes is that each piece of cardio equipment will have its own individual screen with cable access, places to plug in an iPod, and other technological accommodations.
Fitness classes that are now held in the basement of the Student Activities Center will instead be held in the recreation center. Studios with wood floors and built-in audio systems are being made with the capacity to hold classes of up to 49 people.
A wellness resource room in the building, complete with computer kiosks, reception desks and exam rooms, will be used for health screenings, including depression screenings, and consultations with personal trainers.
According to DiMonda, the center will be “the place to be” on campus, and will likely bring in people who do not normally work out.
“This is going to create a healthy environment for our students,” she said.
The center’s creation doubles as an employment opportunity—it will employ over 75 students to operate the facility and others to run fitness classes. Interviews will be held on for those who have already applied on April 21. The new employees will attend training when the fall semester begins.
The center will be open to Stony Brook students only by key card access, having to scan their ID cards to get in. Students can, however, obtain guest passes. The guest pass policy is undergoing debate, and any decision made now is preliminary. The policy will be finalized after the center’s opening, once administrators have seen how many students frequent the center and how often, DiMonda said.
Matt Larsen, senior associate director of athletics, said the center would be a huge benefit to athletics from a recruiting standpoint. DiMonda agreed, noting that the first place recruiters take prospective student athletes is the school’s recreational facility.
But the space will not just work to serve sports teams. Clubs such as Puso and ballroom dance are constantly in need of practice and rehearsal space, DiMonda said, and often have to use inadequate spaces around campus.
“They go in the Benedict atrium and use the windows at night to practice. Is that appropriate at an institution of our caliber? I don’t think so,” DiMonda said.
Sports clubs will have first priority to reserve rooms in the facility for practices and events, but all clubs will have the opportunity to do so if the rooms have not been booked.
Mallory Rothstein, a freshman on the advisory board for the creation of the recreation center said, “the $75 fee was determined years ago and since then has not been increased,” adding that she thinks that what the center will offer students is worth the price.